Tree of the Month- The Tree of Life

What’s approximately 400 years old, stands in the middle of the Desert, but has abundant green leaves?

If you said the Tree of Life, you’d be right!

The ‘Tree of Life’ is actually a species of flowering tree in the pea family, called Prosopis cineraria. These small trees are usually found in extremely arid conditions. Their presence in their arid homes is usually indicative of a deep water table- but no one is quite sure how the Tree of Life, located in Bahrain, survives. Some scientists speculate that the tree somehow manages to draw water from the nearest underground stream…but that stream is two miles away. Others think that the tree may be somehow extracting moisture from grains of sand, or collecting it from the wind. Most extraordinary of all is the claim that this tree was once part of the Garden of Eden, and survives by more mystical means.

Being the only major tree growing in the area, the Tree of Life has become a tourist attraction, bringing approximately 50,000 tourists annually. Having never been watered, and with Bahrain having little to no rain throughout the year, it is easy to see why the Tree of Life has drawn attention as an anomaly of nature! As a result of its popularity, the Tree of Life has suffered some abuse. Love messages have been carved into its trunk, and holes for incense used in religious rituals have been bored into its limbs. Nevertheless, the ancient tree persists, and will hopefully manage to stick around for another 400 years!